Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Why Am I Not Sick?... Reprise

This is round 2 of the cold-flu season... or maybe it’s round 34. I don’t really know. I just know that once again people all around me are droppin’ like flies – sneezing, sniffling, coughing, putting germs by the thousands into the air we breathe.

As I realized that the deja vu was happening again, I went to Marie and bought another couple of little bottles of IMMUNE UP, that wonderful aromatic oil that smells like a dense dark old forest. This time I bought a bottle for myself and one for David – his and hers. Every time I was around one of those ill people – Mollie, Doug, Bill – I came home and quickly applied IMMUNE UP to the tip of my nostrils. And it seemed to be working.

I was doing OK until last night when my little bottle of IMMUNE UP fell onto the tile floor and smashed into a thousand pieces, leaving behind a pool of dark forest smell that even the dogs were afraid of. I thought that maybe this was a sign that I was powerless against the current cruddy germs. Rebecca’s take on this was that sometimes your body just has to do a honkin’ cleanse and there may not be anything you can do about it!

As the night wore on, I got a dull headache and I was fairly sure a cold was coming on. I had expropriated David’s bottle of IMMUNE UP, but I was still hovering on that brink between being sick and being well – just on a precipice. When I woke up today with a sore throat, I decided it was time for more drastic measures. First of all, I would call in sick today – something I haven’t done in probably 10 years because I am virtually never sick. I also cancelled my allergist appointment and my pilates instruction. This is all a big departure from my usual approach to illness, which is more like denial until I drop. What a novel idea, a day of doing nothing! I liked that thought.

But before I could really begin to do nothing, I made a trip to Whole Foods to buy the ingredients for a monster batch of chicken soup – the Jewish penicillin. I bought a whole free-range chicken, a bunch of dill, a piece of fresh ginger, onions, carrots, celery, leeks, parsnips, broccoli. I also chose random homeopathic remedies – little pills that naturally boost the immune system and other little pills that deal with cold symptoms. And I bought Gypsy Cold Tea, whatever that is.

Within a half hour of taking the Ecinacea my throat was no longer sore. The smell of the bubbling chicken soup was like an elixir. I leisurely read my e-mail and prepared for a day of putting my feet up with a good book, while the snow fell outside. For people like me who overbook every day, a whole day of free time is a rarity, but it was so obvious that my body was screaming out for just this. It’s too bad when it takes a sore throat to convey the need to slow down.

It’s still unclear whether or not I am going to get sick really. But strangely enough I don’t even feel guilty for staying home one way or the other. It just feels like the right thing to do. Maybe I am winning more than just the battle against a lurking learing cold...

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